Spirits were low Saturday afternoon when cops shut down the annual mutant art bike battle/party/inhibition destroyer that is Bike Kill before it really got a chance to rev up.

But the bike jousters are not easily deterred, and about a third of the raucous bash successfully relocated Saturday afternoon from their original spot near the Trinity Cemetery in Bushwick to a dead-end side street near Home Depot in Bed-Stuy. That's right people:

Take that, 45.

"These people are awesome and they have taken their creativity and applied it to bicycles and to destruction and it's a wonderful mayhem," said David Mayer, who lives on the Lower East Side and attended Bike Kill for the first time Saturday.

"I hope that they have a place where we can do this safely next year," he said, after migrating to Bed-Stuy, where Bike Kill has happened in previous years.

We reported yesterday that the police crackdown came as a surprise to partiers in the event's 14th year. While it's not uncommon for the NYPD to descend after sunset, the 3:30 p.m. buzz kill was a stark departure.

"There were a lot of people gathering when we got here, but the cops were already standing here," 25-year-old Samantha Eaton, who works for a cycling advocacy organization, told Gothamist. "As we've been sitting here [the cops] have been the ones making a ruckus, when we just want to ride bikes."

Gothamist overheard an NYPD officer telling cyclists early in the day that "the paperwork wasn't done properly this year" and that the event lacked a proper sound permit. Another told a reporter that next year's event could happen with proper permits and private security.

A spokesman for the department did not confirm the reason for the intervention on Sunday.

At 3:30 p.m., he said, there was a "level one mobilization for dispersing a group at that location. A large group... approximately 200 people."

There were no arrests, according to the NYPD, though at least one attendee, journalist Anna Merlan, tweeted that arrests were threatened.

A large contingent of Bike Kill participants relocated a few blocks from the original Bushwick venue shortly before 5:00 p.m. Saturday. Then an organizer announced the relocation to Bed-Stuy, where the fun lasted until 8:00 p.m., when more than a dozen police officers arrived with flashlights. Organizers wound down the jousting and passed out black trash bags to collect beer cans, cigarette butts, and firecracker remnants.

Until next year, y'all.


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Reporting by Scott Heins.